Here's the set list for the Dayton show, 2/3/99. Review forthcoming, as usual...
Splatter, Splatter Jockey Full of Bourbon Get in the Car You Will Go To The Moon When She Talks Pisco Bandito Laika You Can't Be Too Careful Ash Hash King of Spain Sahara Fly Independence Day Spiderman (lounge version) Michigan Militia BJ Don't Cry Psycho Killer Encore 1: Horseshoes Encore 2: Billie Jean Medley
Well, here's a quick Dayton review. Decent show. Met some new people (hi Kat (and Kat's mom for that matter *grin* and Meredith)) and brought some new people of my own who enjoyed the show (though look like the walking dead today at work).
Canal Street is a decent bar in Dayton. It's actually setup as a decent music scene bar. There are old pews facing stage on both sides and in the middle there are these two (very useful I must say, right Josh?) support columns. Between the columns is where the stage sits and in front of the stage is a standing area which was pretty packed. I was right next to the stage Dave support post.
There was a big line outside the place with Nick at the front. I was worried about it a bit, but someone came by and said if you already got tickets you can go in. So we went in. Nick got in and I saw Sandy later too. Didn't hear of any stories about people not getting in, so that was good.
Tod Weidner opened. I had actually met Tod before at Peter Mulvey shows across Ohio (http://www.petermulvey.com if you wanna get some info - he's incredible). Tod played a 30 minute set. It was just him and his guitar and not his whole band, Shrug (that's a plug if you are around Dayton). Tod played about 6 or 7 tunes and did really well. I enjoyed him. He covered a Mulvey tune actually (On the Way Up) and did a good job of it, despite being scared of finger picking. His Open Mic Night song went over best probably, but all in all, the crowd was pretty attentive.
Fruvous came on semi-quickly after Tod. They seemed good spirited, but didn't seem used to the stage and moving around it. Throughout the night, they had problems moving around swapping instruments and such. Well, not problems, just noticable traffic ;)
First thing I noticed when I came in was the polish keyboard (proudly proclaiming it's land of origin on it's band - Poland). It's a full size, so it's easier to play and probably hits the same midi trigger the mini-keyboard does. Don't know where it fits in the van or what was sacrificed to slide it in there, but it's a nice addition, and the metronome function got some good use for the new songs.
Murray kicked it off, greeting with the name of the opening song, Interstate Love Song. People laughed, so Jian said the song was really Trans-Ohio Express. Mike's input was the song was called Fifth-Third Bank (my bank, by the way), where the fifth third of your savings belongs to us.
SPLATTER SPLATTER The show started off on an unfamiliar note. It was really great floundering in the crowd trying to figure out what the heck was being played and finally deciding it was something new. Good driving bass went with the polish keyboard part. Couldn't figure out what the heck it was about, but the chorus was something like "This is the best I've ever seen. I want to see it again and again and again and again".
Straight into JOCKEY
Jockey was sounding pretty okay. Energy was growing a bit. But Mike broke a string on the electric.
After the tune, Mike started calling for Tobey, Sgt. Dave Tobey, hero of such places as Korea, 'Nam, Toronto. Mike couldn't find Tobey, so he went off stage Murray to look for Tobey, but Tobey was Stage Dave talking to people. As Mike waded through the crowd with the Les Paul, Ji started some wading music that turned into some screwing around with covers. Eventually Mike and Tobey must have met and Mike came back on stage to sit behind the polish keyboard and play around too. Songs bits include Fly Like an Eagle by Murray. He actually did well on the lyrics for awhile. Clapping insued and the band milked it for all it was worth. Ji sped us up, swapped us to quarter notes and then Murray broke out with Bamboleo. Ji guided it back to half-notes again and then got people doing off-beats as well. Of course this got the creative in the crowd doing their own rhythms.
After about 4 or 5 minutes of pretty much screwing around, they start realizing that they were covering for something. Ji commented that Tobey's never taken this long to change a string before.
At some point, it came back around to Fly Like an Eagle with new Murray lyrics: Fly like a Penguin into the sea. Fly like a peacock, let my spirit carry me. I gonna fly like a dodo. This went into Come on Baby Light My Fire (or rather, liar liar pants on fire) which Dave took into On and On then Ji took it off into Free Falling. Murray only could do the up bass part and not the down, so it got repeatative quickly and they ended the cover jam together and timely, which is always nice to see *grin*
Murray: "You didn't come here to hear Fruvous songs"
Jian: "You came here to hear badly covered song"
Mike: "You came here to hear every song ever written... as sung by Gordon Lightfoot. so let's get started"
At this point, Dave was looking around for Tobey and his fixed guitar, but he couldn't find him. Tobey had, about 5 minutes earlier, stood next to me flashing his flashlight at Dave on stage. He did this for about 30 seconds and then went back off to do Tobey things. Dave started wondering aloud where Tobey was and he showed up, but didn't have the guitar. Dave asked where it was and Tobey (and the whole side of the stage that watched Tobey put the restrung guitar back on its stand 5 minutes ago) pointed out that it was right there. Mike lamented on not purchasing an easier seen white guitar while Murray wondered at Tobey's skill in placing the guitar back in its stand using the power of his mind.
At this, Jian said "it's magic" leading into a tease of Abracadabra. But right after Mur started the bassline, Ji quit, seemingly because no one else knew it. Murray said "I'm there, man" and they broke back into it for a bit until they realized neither of them knew more words than Abra-Abra-cadabra, I want to reach out and grab you.
So, the guitar had been up here the whole time. A split down the stage had occurred and the Stage Dave side was involved in a disinformation campaign. The folky guys vs. the guys who want to hear electric guitar. But Murray was worried about crossing lines. Jian understood it because Tom Petty looks like Murray's brother.
Jian and Murray realize they've been talking amongst themselves.
"Let's see what's going on over there" (referring to the other side of the stage of course)
"We've played two songs. We'll set a record. We keep this up and we get to leave soon. We've done our part. We've played "music". That's what the contract says"
GET IN THE CAR
A decent rendition. The "There's babies in Hanson" was really pronounced this time. The applause at the end of the song were pretty solid though.
Jian thanked the American Clappers, which started the audience out into "Clap on. Clap Off". Mike took this into the intro to YWGTTM. Pointing out to Dave that peopl have been talking about this "clap on clap off technology" and asked Dave where, like microwaves, tang, and other great devices, does it come from. Dave's answer: "It comes from the only moon our planet earth has, the moon." He started talking about the bloated carcass of Laika coming back from the moon orange encrusted with small crystals.
YOU WILL GO TO THE MOON
Murray's sign off line was about clap on/clap off technology bringing us to the moon, which Dave perverted into Jerk on. Murray scolded him, calling him a dirty and Jian echoed Murray in a Ringo Starr voice. Mike squaks and says in a birdy voice "Dirty bird smells a dirty bird".
Someone in the audience enjoyed Jian's Ringo impersonation and commented on it. Jian asked him if he was talking about his and said that was really insensitive. People don't call Dave... bald. At this point, Mike chimed in with Telly (referring to Telly Savalis). Jian continued that we don't talk about Murray having a small... well, you know. It's just not right to attack in our sensitive places. Murray rescued himself, pointing out that people don't say that about him for a different reason. In the marines, they called me Horse.
Mike, for some reason, started talking about the president's name being Richard Starkey (which is Ringo's name). He then drew this into a lampoon of Kevin Costner and his crap movies lately. Who knows what evil lurks in the mind of Fordy?
WHEN SHE TALKS
Dave on Bass, Mur on Drums. Ji singing and acoustic. Dave on Polish Keyboard. At least I think that's right. Murray was on drums for something where he was using brushes and stirring the pot a bit. He doesn't have a good pronounced stir developed, but he's moving his elbows a bit more now. As for this song, it was okay. Nothing really exciting in it. It isn't bad, it just isn't Follow the Road or I Will Hold On. And that's all I'm gonna say about that.
A Magical Mystical Journey for people escaping 49th president Carter's Malaise leads us into...
The bassline sounded more complex in places and Dave's playing sounded cripser to me. The silly extra bridge is back again, distracting the song and showing off the fact that Noodle does in fact rhyme with Strudel. Note that there was not a unrivalled cheer at the singing of this verse. There was more cheering for Mur's guitar solo than the strudel bit.
Jian started this break out with "It's good to be in 'Lovely' Dayton" in pseudo sarcasm that you can't truly understand until you've heard the guys talk about Bloomington IN *grin*
There was a lot of intervention going on. All he said was Dayton was a lovely town. It's a beautiful town, but it's no Toledo.
Murray, re: Toledo "I always carry a knife and I never get to use it, except in Toledo"
Mike lamented in an old woman voice that in Toledo they don't have the fifth third bank, where the fifth third of your savings belongs to them.
Oh yeah. I always like Laika life. Murray's high work was nice and all in all, a good song. Though it's a great opener, Laika is good anywhere in the set, except maybe before Fly or something...
Murray, at the end of the song, pointed out that the song was off an album that they like to call our first album. Jian segued to the next song with: "And here's a song we'd like to call our next alb... off... off what we'd like to..."
YOU CAN'T BE TOO CAREFUL
This has gotten better since I last heard it (even though Mike was a little off on the harmonica). This is one of the most catchy of the new tunes and I really like it when it gets 1,2,3 heavy and drops off 4.
Quick transition from Mike saying that maybe you can be too careful, but he's not sure. The next tune was a cautionary tale.
It's a terrible time in your country (Audience: No it's not). A knock at Clinton turns into a Ken Starr joke that ends up turning back into a Clinton jab. Jian was really showing off for this intro. He points out how Clinton struts around like he is some kind of monarch, but he's not one, but there is a certain ex-monarch that when he struts.... ladies and gentlemen, there have been few people who have been in more pornos, Mike Ford with the introduction.
Mike: "Hee hee. I had to retire.... and now a guy who is a personal friend of president Richard Starkey... the King Of Spain"
KING OF SPAIN
The Bargainville rooted Dayton crowd sings "Now I eat humble pie" to which the King comes back with "and it's f**king delicious let me tell you". Murray points out the King is a man with a woman's ass and Jian follows immediately saying the King is a man who is "lovely" in the same way Dayton is "lovely".
So, this is where it gets off. Dave, substitutes the end of the third verse for the first verse and all the guys follow right along with him.
Right before the second verse, Mike says "sabres", pointing out to Dave that he kinda just skipped most of the song and that throws Dave off so he missed the entrance to the second verse. Mike, in the silence, asks Dave if this little break is what they call soul-capella music. Dave says yes it is and Mike tosses in F**k you, King. Murray thanks the King for the new break he's added, because it gives him some breathing room.
Dave then tried to bring it back where he left off:
Dave: "Do these people look curious? Do they want to hear.."
Murray: "The second verse?"
Dave: "The second verse. Right"
Then Dave kicks it back in and they get it together, but instead of the normal end of the third verse (which I remind you he used in the first verse), he graciously pointed out that Oscar Mayer sells Bologna.
And this was not followed by Green Eggs & Ham, but...
Mike: "Is there a man here tonight in a yellow jacket?" Now, i have no idea what he was talking about. If he had said Bluejacket, we'd be close enough to Columbus, but I dunno.
Jian: "Is there a man here tonight in a white dinner jacket?" Glad Nick got in *grin*
Jian intros Fly as that's sad song for some and he guessed a happy song for others, but he didn't know anyone like that.
Fly fit okay here. It led into the next song well, but coming off of Sahara and the luggage comments, it was a little abrupt.
Whoa! Cool chordings. Mur was a bit off prolly because he was having trouble with on stage monitors. But it was enough to see the cool intervals of what he was doing in my head. Very cool stuff. The song was very visual. Not as storytelling as a lot of Costello, more "painting a picture through word" (that's how someone who probably knows a lot about the song described it). Needs a little more bass tooling around melodic and high in parts. When it gets driving a little bit towards the middle/end it's great. It's kinda got a little Smashing Pumpkins feel with the guitar and chording as well.
General observation: The polish keyboard and the guitar are really cohesive together. I don't know if it's because the people who play are both guitar players as well, but they go together a lot.
Slick ending with the organ sound, bass, and drums driving it home. It then really never quick as it dripped with a drum beat (not just bass drum, but a real beat) into the pre-Michigan Militia improv. Mur was doing palm slides while scrieked and starting into the intro. At this point on they were pretty much driving hard to the finish and did a decent job of getting up a good head of steam (especially after Fly and Independence Day - Spidey connected well here).
Jian: "Here's a song about a fish boy. And Baby Jesus. And Blow Jobs"
BJ DON'T CRY
Buddha and a brush and Nemesis. Every Thursday hit the Roxy. Bj didn't feel too great, but he'd rather hang in the Buckeye State.
Dave on power chords on the first of the fa-fa-fa's each time, but dropped off into tinkering on the second ones.
Encore begins with Matt De Marco's birthday. He's 23. It's a big year because... um... okay. I don't know why it's a big year. People love saying Matt DeMarco's name. Murray barely even knows Matt Demarco and he's already charmed. So, Dave kicks off into a Bowie tune for Matt Demarco. When Dave started losing the words, he handed it over to Fordy who promptly took the song to new levels, including talking about smoking a big fat doob. Jian starts into some harmony stuff and Dave comments about Menudo touring with Bowie.
Jian points out that Matt should, for his 23th birthday, buy 8 Bowie albums. Low, Heroes, and Lodger were the albums he recommended by the way and I'd recommend them as well. Heroes had Robert Fripp and Brian Eno (bass player was George Murray probably) and it's a goodie. I think he did an album with Adrian Belew too...
Saying Matt Demarco makes Ji feel like an ebullient young woman, but he's not having one, he's feeling like one. Dave then brings the show to a halt when he wondered outloud what would happen in Matt's first name were Leonardo.
They then lament about how they wanted to come out and be professional but then this happened.
This led into Bowie #2 for Matt Demarco. Much shorter than the first Bowie tune. Dave of course kicked it off into Bowie #3, but Murray refused to give him another song. Jian turns on Matt, who was gaining too much power too quickly. So, Mike kicks off into a Brechtian Matt Demarco song about the state of the republic and the fact that Matt Demarco is dead, but we still want his whore house. The words, of course, Fordy originals.
Finally, they hose down the crowd and go into Horseshoes. The polish keyboard isn't a real piano, but it still does fine. Nice and slow. The audience picks up the last o/~ look straight at the coming disaster ~/o pretty much.
The second encore was painful in its inception. The audience wasn't the loudest thing in the world and it took a bit to force the band back out. But it worked out in the end. They just launched straight into Billie Jean Medley which went over really well with the crowd.
All in all, the show was pretty good. A lot wilder than many recent shows I've seen. They let themselves get a little wild in terms of screwing around with covers and stuff and this was to the detriment of their own tunes. But nothing was blaringly bad. It is feeling good to keep hearing new songs. Maybe hanging around Dan Bern for awhile got them into song writing mood, or maybe they are just starting to feel more comfortable playing some of the newer stuff at shows now (also a good thing). It's looking like they may have some choices on this new album *grin*
From Josh Woodward:
02/03/99 Canal Street; Dayton, OH Splatter*, Jockey, (Fly Like An Eagle)**, Car, Moon, When She Talks***, Pisco^, Laika, Too Careful, Hash, King, Sahara, Fly, Independence Day%, Spiderman (lounge) -> Michy, BJ, Psycho E1: Jam$->Horseshoes E2: Billie Jian * A brand new song, first time played. Features a smooth, fast spy beat spoken words by Mike. ** A six and a half minute jam of various songs, mainly Fly Like An Eagle while Tobey changed a string. Turns out it'd been back on the stage most of the time. *** Second time played. New Jian song. Sappy simplistic words. Eh. ^ As in Windsor, the Strudel bridge is back! % New Murray song, second time played. Love this one! $ A set of songs sung for a birthday boy.
**disclaimer: this review is being written at 2 a.m. as per the mandate on proper detail recall of a concert experience. please pardon any excessive length, incoherence, or general babble about jian & his ballads. and now, to our regularly scheduled concert review...**
mmm, what a night! my ears are pounding, i reek of secondhand smoke--but both are small prices to pay for being front row stage mike at a fru-show in one's hometown. :)
mother [also a fervent fruvous fan, and a necessity to allow me into the 21+ club] and i left warm & cheerful centerville at 5:45 p.m. for downtown dayton. this was leaving time for a drive-thru dinner, of course, so with the added delay we arrived at canal street tavern... around 6:25 p.m. the doors would not open until a little after 8. we were *definitely* the first people there.
no matter. we waited in our car for about 15 minutes till a handful of people began to arrive. turns out they didn't have tickets, & were there early because there were only *5* tickets not sold when the box office closed at 5:30 today. trust me, there were far more than 5 people desiring those tickets by the time the doors opened...
waiting in the frigid air [in satin pants--*not* a good idea], i engaged myself in conversation with several other fans, as i did throughout the night: steve, a fellow daytonian; carie, one of two charming women who drove eliz & back home from the BNL concert last october after meeting the band; bud & nelson from NKU; jennifer & 2 nields fans who shared my space up by the stage; josh, DAT taper extraordinaire & chairman of the BGSU frufanclub (*grin*); & his friend, sarah, the latter two of whom i chatted with at length once we were inside and seated on the floor in front of the stage. all sorts of great people. :)
the setup was... eclectic. the stage was about a foot off the rest of the floor, & there were assorted bar stools, church pews, and random chairs in the side sections. i got frustamp #6, seated myself at my favorite vantage point up front & prepared to wait.
the opener, tod weigman (sp?), wasn't too bad; he reminded me a bit of dan bern. one guy, guitar, thought-provoking lyrics, & cargo pants w/paint on them. fortunately, he didn't spit... he played a peter mulvey cover, a van morrison cover, & a few ditties of his own. he decided that he must be the "yin" to fruvous's "yang," b/c this was the third time he'd opened for fruvous, even though all his songs are dark & depressing, in his words. i dunno; i thought "open mic night" was kinda funny...
fruvous was refreshingly (*grin*) prompt about coming onstage after tod left. they opened with a tune dubbed by murray as "interstate love song," but mike's setlist states "splatter." perhaps one more versed in the ways of fru-concert-going can enlighten me. good song, nevertheless.... anyway, the rest of the list:
JOCKEY--with the elusive second verse. totally rockin'. fruvous seemed very excellent musically tonite. :)
mike wading / fly like an eagle--ahh, improv... mike's pretty garnet-colored guitar had difficulties after jockey & required tobey's assistance. jian joked that mike was wading through the crowd to hand-deliver the guitar just because he craves the attention. this led to an improv, which lended to an extended mix of "fly like an eagle," with all the frulads joining in. after quite some time (and onstage speculation about why it was taking tobey so long to repar a guitar string), they finally broke it off & conferenced about skipping to the next song on the setlist. dave looked behind him, noticed the guitar is back on the stand, & called jian's attention to it. mike commented that he needed a *white* guitar, instead...
(get in the)CAR-- "the babies in hanson!" *grin* it's such fun to groove with the music when you're less than five feet away from the guy's faces. made for great photo ops, too...
(you will go to the) MOON--ahh, yes, lovely dayton. well, maybe not as lovely as *toledo*... *grin* what with all the technology in dayton, we know where you all will be headed. you will go the way of tang: to the moon. [energetic & fun as always.]
WHEN (she talks)--*sigh* THIS is the new jian ballad. i'm beginning to think that jian's sterotyping himself as the soft, sensitive one... not that *i* mind a bit. *grin* it's impossible not to adore a song that's being sung by an emotional persian within swooning range, particularly when the first line is "when she talks, i listen." mmm.
PISCO--whee! counting down the days to whenever the new cd is released... i cannot help but dance to this song [tho' not the infamous PiscoDance(tm)]. and yes, pisco still likes apple streudel...
LAIKA--i don't believe i've ever heard this one live before, or if i did, it didn't leave nearly the impression that this did tonite. i love hearing the end live, what with the musical layering. & all. fantastique.
(you can't be)2 CAREFUL--this song is amazingly catchy... it's *still* in my head. and it wouldn't be so bad if i didn't only know the chorus. it's one of my very favorites to hear, i think, despite the risk of having it float about in my mind for the rest of the night...
ASH (hash)--*heehee* you HAVE to see this live. i never really cared much for the album version, but just to *see* these guys as stoners is almost as much hilarity as i can stand. almost. ;)
KING -- w/o GE&H, surprising me... "the man who has appeared in more than 70 porno movies, it's mike ford with the introduction!" after the first verse, something was said onstage that got dave laughing, preventing him from jumping into the second verse. added banter, before dave was complimented on his "new long break" in the song. the king proceed to ask if we were curious. jian: "...about the second verse?"
SAHARA--non-extended, but hearing that last sliding chord is unspeakably wonderful. another great tune for dancin', too...
white dinner jacket--jian covered his eyes from the lights, looked out into the crowd, & commented that it was good to see some familiar faces (and some unfamiliar ones, too...). mike proceeded to ask if there was a fellow with a yellow jacket in the audience. silence. jian then asked about a man wearing a white dinner jacket, who apparantly gave mike & murray luggage (?) but not him or dave. anyone want to fill me in on the context of this? *shrug* moving on...
FLY--whenever jian grabs a tambourine & moves to mike's mic, i know it must be for a good reason [read: ballad. mmm.]. i consider fly to be a pretty darn good reason... gorgeous. no complaints.
INDY (independence) DAY--aha! a new murray tune! i think "groovy" is the best way to describe this. beautiful imagery in the lyrics. i like the fact that murray's leading a bit more...
COCKTAIL (lounge spidey)--jazzy and... i think i've run out of new & interesting yet complimentary adjectives to use. but i also think i enjoy *this* version much more than the a cappella version. sure, the latter's *fun*, but the instrumentation is too fantastic in the loungey tune.
MICHY--finally allowed myself to put my flashless camera down & just dance. so i did. this song got huge cheers from the audience (who, incidentally, *packed* the place...)
BJ--there's nothing to do during this tune but watch dave play accordion. i love his countermelody when mike sings the lived-in-person-told-by-proxy part. listen for it... "great to be in the buckeye state" or sum'n to that effect instead of hiking the himalayas.
PSYCHO (killer)--powerful ending to the scheduled set. i swiftly swiped mike's setlist before they came out again, only to be greeted with shouts from the audience about someone named mike demarco's b-day (just after midnite). in congratulating the boy, fruvous did not one, not two, but *five* improv songs, four of which were david bowie-esque, according to the band. jian told mike to buy bowie's 3-1977 albums in this, his "special" 23th (sic) year. jian also seemed to take great joy in saying the name mike demarco. it made him feel "like an ebullient young girl. not that i don't feel that way often..." after the fourth song, they began to curse at the power of demarco crowd, inspiring a fifth "requiem" about the group's communist tendencies. *grin*
HORSESHOES--not what i expected for the encore, but one of my favorites just the same. jian stepped back from the mic to let us sing the last "look straight...". i think more than a few people in the tavern were confused about why he stopped singing. ;p we clapped, we screamed, we whistled... and we brought them back for one more song...
BILLIE JEAN MEDLEY--*shriek* i'd never heard this until about a week ago, when i was listening to one of my recently acquired fruboots. i thought that i'd love to hear it live... but since love potion was getting a lot of action lately, i figured i'd missed my chance. not so. :) murray's bass riff, the banjo, jian in michael jackson's role... the *perfect* note to end an already stellar show.
the only drawback was the lack of conversational banter w/ the audience,
due, no doubt, to the large number of rude drunks in the crowd who were
shouting things w/o being prompted, let alone at the band's request. that,
& dave didn't appear after the show to sign my poster. :( the other three
lads were there, though, and i gave them the tiny 3-D paper stars i folded &
personalized [mike got dave's to pass on to him, tho' dave might never see
his. mike seemed so thrilled at having 2. ;)]. small, non-food items
seemed appropriate as tokens of my affection. murray inquired for my name
to sign it, & when i told him, asked, "you've seen us before, right?"
*grin* after a bit of a wait (jian's ever the popular one), i got my hug
from him & introduced him to my mother, who proceeded to embarrass me highly
(as parents always do) by telling jian my gpa. his comment: "so, you're a
smart one, eh?" she also showed him a picture of our kitty, foxy fruvous, &
he said that she was cute, & that he usually didn't like cats. so, for
those of you that are keeping track: jian is a dog person. got my
obligatory pic w/ him before escaping into the fresh night air. &
immediately began singing the chorus to "you can't be too careful"...
Some other tidbits from the performance include: